Elder Law FAQ
What Is Long Term Care Planning?
“Long Term Care Planning” is the process of preparing for the medical and housing needs of someone who usually isn’t able to function independently. In doing so, a personalized plan is generally created which addresses a number of different issues and potential needs, typically; the level of care that might be required, where that care can best be provided and who should provide that care, and also the means in which to fund the cost of the care. Oftentimes, a well-developed plan can offer options for enrollment in other programs and benefits available to the individual that could be used to offset the costs involved and provide for more financial flexibility.
What’s the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare and Medicaid are two very distinctly different programs, although it’s not uncommon to hear a client use the terms interchangeably.
Generally, Medicare acts like traditional health insurance, though it has several different parts, and is used to pay for things like hospital visits, doctor’s bills, x-rays, etc. Medicare Part A covers hospital insurance, Part B covers medical insurance, and Part D covers prescriptions. Virtually everyone who is over age 65 is eligible for Medicare Part A, and almost all of those people have voluntarily enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Eligibility for Medicaid on the other hand is generally based on a person’s income. If a person has limited income and/or financial resources, Medicaid covers a broader spectrum of services than Medicare does and can provide payment for a number of services that Medicare either doesn’t cover or discontinues coverage after a period of time. One of the most common examples is long-term care or nursing home care.
You don’t have to be eligible for Medicare to be eligible for Medicaid, or vice versa, but it is important to know the differences and how either or both of these programs can be used.
What Programs Are Available to Veterans?
The VA Aid and Attendance program is designed to provide monetary assistance to those veterans (and/or their surviving spouses) who served our country during a time of war (90 days of active duty, 1 day beginning or ending during a period of War ) and are now in need of aid or assistance with activities of daily living (such as eating, dressing, undressing, taking care of the needs of nature, etc.). The aid can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home and can be provided by friends, family, or healthcare professionals, but to be eligible, the applicant must meet the qualifications both medically and financially. If approved, the program can provide up to $1,632 per month to a veteran, $1,055 per month to a surviving spouse, or $1,949 per month to a couple.